5-year, $4.6 million study at University of Central Florida wages war on citrus greening


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ORLANDO, Florida — A five-year, $4.6 million research program at the University of Central Florida is testing a possible bactericide against the deadly citrus greening disease that's devastating the state's citrus groves.

The Lakeland Ledger (http://bit.ly/1DPPTy2) reports that the research centers around Zinkicide, a nanoparticle as small as a DNA molecule. It's a formulation of the chemical element zinc.

Zinkicide appears to move freely through a citrus tree's vascular system and attacks the greening bacteria inside tree cells.

Asian citrus psyllids are the carriers of citrus greening bacteria. There's no known cure for the disease, which eventually kills citrus trees.

Greening has infected most of the state's groves and is the reason for an overall decline in citrus production.

Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida), http://www.theledger.com

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